The National Archives are introducing a themed approach for some rounds of the Archives Testbed Fund. This approach will enable them to target funding towards immediate sector needs, challenges or topics considered to be of wider interest.The Archives Testbed funding scheme provides grants up to £10,000 for archives who would like to test, explore, or evolve a new idea that has the potential to improve the way we all keep, preserve, promote and enable access to archives. Any project, whether it fits within the theme or not, is welcome to apply. Themes are in place to encourage thinking around the ideas presented. These themes have been selected to ensure that applications will be able to demonstrate clear innovation and impact on the archive service and the wider sector, and therefore all applications in the round will be assessed using the same criteria. No additional weighting will be given to projects that align with the theme. Round 5, which is currently open for applications, will have the theme ‘Reaching audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic’. The deadline for this round has been extended to 2 November 2020. They would like to support archives who are exploring alternative ways to reach out to audiences, who are testing different approaches to audience development, and are developing approaches to engagement that they have not tried previously. The next themed round will be Round 6, which will open for applications in November 2020 and will have the theme ‘Decolonising archives’. The deadline for this round is 25 January 2021, and they would like to encourage applications from archive services who wish to explore and test approaches to decolonising archives.
If you would like to find out more about the Archives Testbed fund, including information about the themed rounds, please see the website: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/finding-funding/collaborate-and-innovate/archive-testbed-fund/